Thomas Smetryns studied composition at the Ghent Conservatoire. As a composer, he is immensely interested in the search for a new, experimental musical practice which is rooted in a historical or social consciousness. A broad range of instruments is used in his projects (from ophicleide to electronics to turntables) as well as a wide variety of performers (professionally schooled classical musicians, improvisers, amateurs and youngsters).
Even in his activities as a DJ (only with 78 rpm records), setting the musical past in a contemporary context is central to his work. He often employs alternative notation systems (relative notation, graphic scores) in his pieces as an implementation of this basic principle.
Since 2008 he has been collaborating with LOD. He wrote the music for The Devil Bedevilled, commissioned by LOD, as well as a contribution to Lecture Songs 1 and 2. In 2013 he also composed for the music for the LOD production The Incredible Changes of Mister Afzal (we won’t mention his glass leg). February 2015 saw the premiere of the LODproduction Snow, Smetryns' first joint venture with Inne Goris. In 2016 he created the production Paradis together with Hof van Eede and in 2017 he composed the music for the LODproduction In between violet & green in collaboration with Atelier Bildraum. At Oerol Festival 2019, 15 419ft, a collaboration with Post Uit Hessdalen, premiered on the beach.
In november 2019, as long as we are playing, his first collaboration with kabinet k, will premiere at hetpaleis.